Dreams are some of the most interesting experiences of our lives, but they’re all too easy to forget.
Dreams are some of the most interesting experiences of our lives. But have you ever woken up in the morning and forgotten what you dreamt about? Don’t lose sleep over it! Brain coach Jim Kwik shares six tips to remembering your dreams—and why you should.
Motivation is the key to memory, so you need to figure out why you want to remember your dreams.
Reasons to remember your dreams
- Dreams take time
We dream four to seven dreams per night. That’s about two hours total per night, or more than six years of your life spent in dream world. Just because you don’t remember your dreams yet doesn’t mean you didn’t dream.
- Dreams help you solve problems
Our conscious minds absorb data during the day. As we sleep, our subconscious minds process and make sense of the data.
The advice to “sleep on it” is responsible for several artistic and scientific breakthroughs.
- Paul McCartney came up with “Yesterday” in a dream.
- Mary Shelley created Frankenstein in a dream.
- Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity, Dmitri Mendeleev saw the periodic table and Renée Descartes realized the framework for the scientific method—all in dreams.
- Jack Nicklaus changed his golf swing in a dream.
- Elias Howes invented the sewing machine partly because of a dream.
Six Kwik tips to remembering your dreams
Just remember the acronym DREAMS.
D stands for Decide
“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Make the conscious choice to recall your dreams before you go to sleep.
R stands for Record
The act of recording your dreams trains your mind to be more sensitized to them. Keep a pen/paper or a dedicated dream journal by your bedside, and get a penlight if you can’t see. You can also take audio notes on your phone.
E stands for Eyes
Keep your eyes shut within the first few minutes of waking up, which is when most of our dreams disappear. Keeping your eyes closed will help you to reflect on your dreams and not get distracted by your environment.
A stands for Affirm
Have you ever had to wake up at a certain time and told yourself you would, and then woken up a few minutes before your alarm? Affirm that you will remember your dreams. Set the intention before you sleep. Repeat this out loud to yourself: “I will recall my dreams. I will remember my dreams.”
M stands for Manage
Manage your sleep, because you need deep rest to dream. Keep a regular sleep routine, clear your mind before bedtime and practice good sleep hygiene.
S stands for Share
Share your dreams and talk about them with others.
The more you acknowledge your dreams and bring them to the surface, the easier it is to remember them. The ability to recall dreams is a skill learned through practice and persistence. Don’t get discouraged if it takes you some time to remember your dreams. The more you work at it, the easier it will become.
One interesting side effect of remembering more of your dreams is lucid dreaming. A lucid dream is a dream in which you are aware you are dreaming. When you lucid dream, you can have adventures, solve problems and undertake creative endeavors in your sleep.
Want more memory help? Tune into Kwik Brain podcast or check out Jim’s Kwik Recall Masterclass. This seven-week program provides you with the best tools and strategies to help you reach the memory proficiency you deserve.
Photo credit: Benjamin Combs, Unsplash